Comboni Lay Missionaries

The second day of our CLM continental meeting of America

rosario misionero

Today we started the day with a mass celebration with everyone carrying out our commitment as CLM.  During mass the idea that predominated was that a CLM is always a missionary, not mattering whether or not the CLM is carrying out mission work in or outside of his/her country of origin.  The activities of the day began with group work based on a previous study guide that was presented to the CLM for completion before our IV Continental meeting in Mexico. Each of the groups presented and informed according to the topics that were included in the study guide. We were enriched by the constructive information that all groups exposed and shared of what goes on in each of their countries. It is always enriching to see what others are doing in their countries and how they have progressed in this area of mission work since our last continental meeting.  Each representative of each country exposed and presented with such clarity on topics that were previously chosen for discussion.  In the second part of the morning we moved on to discuss the agreements that were previously made in Guatemala in   2014 for each country.  CLM from Columbia is the only country that was not able to send a representative to our meeting but they have sent their report via email and was read out-loud by Alberto.  Fisher, the coordinator of Peru presented theirs with such clarity and after is followed by a brief discussion of the same.  Yessenia De La O, representative for Paul Wheeler presented the report for Nap.  Cristina both a member of our International Committee and the representative for Brazil presented their report.  Mexico also presents their report with clarity and it’s followed by a small dialogue.  The next presentation is done by Mirella the coordinator of Guatemala.  More group work follows after to answer aspects not yet discussed based on the study guide. In the discussion floor groups exposed what was agreed in their respective groups that they were assigned too, in order to make a follow up on the agreements made in Guatemala 2014, whether if agreements were accomplished or not. After each presentation an enriched dialogue followed which helped to clarify some aspects of past agreements made in the meeting of Guatemala in 2014.

Valentín y Yessenia de la O

IV Continental meeting CLMs of America (18-24 September)

LMC America

Our CLM’s Gathering began Sunday 18th with the presentation by the Continental committee and by Father Erasmus, Provincial Comboni Missionary in Mexico.  Then we had a very original Dynamic directed by Leticia in order to learn more about each other as a group.  We then assigned group activities and practical responsibilities for these remaining days.  We started Monday with a very colorful mass that the Latino missionaries organized.  The Eucharist is the center and force of all missionaries, this was presented through words and gestures in the offerings that were presented.

LMC America

The activities of the morning were marked by the memory of our previous meetings and our commitments that were made especially in the meeting in Guatemala, which served to remind us of our lay community and our commitment to it. We reviewed the agreements previously made in order to live better our commitments in our various countries.  Achievements in these past years have been remarkable, especially in the area of communication.  Nevertheless, more commitment of our CLM and provincials are required in order to ensure a good follow up in all provinces.  The Central Committee updated and specified what their function and role are within the International movement. Alberto, Coordinator of the Central Committee exposed its operation and clearly presented and reminded us of the various agreements that had been made by the different Continental Assemblies in a very concise and clear manner leaving no room for questions. In the Maia Assembly, the base of its performance was set, and it recalls for much coordination between the different agents within the mission of the CLM’s.

The CLM are present in 20 countries.  Today we have various challenges as CLM in different continents.  One of the challenges is that is necessary to clarify our relationship within the MCCJ at all levels.  Another aspect that was emphasized on was the economic contribution that each member and country can give in order to help facilitate economic resources to those who have less.  It is necessary for all MCCJ and Provincials to have the capacity to accept and collaborate with the CLM in those countries.  We have major challenges today as a group in various levels and it is important to be conscience of them and be more coherent.

LMC America

Alberto de la Portilla recalls the challenges

  • Consolidate those groups (CLM) in our countries and promote vocations of same.
  • Involve everyone in a systematic way so that we all are an International CLM family.
  • Achieve a smooth communication process and be more corresponding in the decision making.
  • Carry out the challenges and commitments of Maia.
  • Enable a stability in the international coordination.
  • Enhance further knowledge and background that will help us grow.
  • Procure a style of Comboni family that Comboni would have liked.

The reflection of the evening was to care for the creation of the vocation as laity in the church and to protect it, this was presented by Cristina from the Central Committee.  The Comboni Lay Missionaries are called to continue the Kind of Life that Jesus led as well as Comboni.  We are also called to continue and with the making of Missionary animation. In the afternoon each country presents its responses according to the previous questionnaire that was sent to each coordinator: Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, NAP, Brazil and in the evening Peru presents with two very interesting testimonies by Arequipa and Trujillo.

(Fr. Valentín García and Yessenia de la O)


A Family history in Villa Ecológica

LMC Arequipa

Andrea is a warm and beautiful 3-year-old child who lives in a small house in the poorest region of Arequipa, Peru. She shares her living space with her parents and two older brothers. Her life has always been difficult since her parents are very poor and her house has only one light bulb, no running water, two beds for everyone to sleep on, and the house is missing most of its windows. Consequently, her home is very cold during the days and especially in the nights.

LMC Arequipa

However, things became much worse for her and her family when her father fell and hit his head approximately six weeks ago. He has a history of chronic seizure disorder and needed hospitalization for a hematoma he received after his fall. What little money the family had prior to this injury was spent for medical costs.

The house is equipped with a small propane stove, yet little money exists for purchasing gas and, thus the children are not fed proper meals. A hole in the ground serves as a toilet and the family shares a garden hose with the local community, in order to receive any water for drinking. Andrea’s first words to me after meeting her were not, “I’m hungry”, rather “My father is in the hospital”. I was moved to tears by her strength and acknowledgement that her father’s situation was direr than her own.

In Andrea I can clearly hear Jesus’s words (Mt 5: 3,6):

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Andrea and her family are not seeking pity, rather some of the basic necessities that we all may take for granted: food and water. Karissa, I, Sister Yanibell, and our friends are using some of the funds given to us by Dr. Barbara De Lateur- thank you so much for your continued support of our efforts. We are going to build the family a small kitchen, in order to provide meals and bring water closer to the home. We also hope to do more for these wonderful people in the future, for example construct a proper bathroom, if our funds will permit this. We have also asked permission from her parents, in order to have Andrea visit with us on weekends so that she, too, may share in the comfort of a safe and warm environment.

LMC Arequipa
Andrea´s home

God bless you all for your prayers for Andrea and her family and please remember equality begins with the first step of sharing.


Matt, Karissa, Lydia, and Violet Misner

Our friend Héctor

LMC Arequipa

Hello Everyone!

The Misner family is doing well in Arequipa and are giving aid to several members of the community needing our help.

First I would like to present to you one fried of the Villa Ecologica named Hector. Hector is 86 years old and is a frequent patient in our clinic. He is very strong for his age and is not suffering from many of the same problems that other older patients are. However, he does not have a place to live, eat, or other basic necessities that are necessary for him to live.

Although someone might think Hector is “poor” because he does not have much money, he is not limited in his activities. He is growing a beautiful garden near his home and likes to share with the clinic and his friends. He is very nice person and his love for life is very contagious so we visit him frequently. He is living the words in the Gospel of today’s Mass, reading from the letter of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians in 3: 1-5. 9-11: “Aspire to the things that are above, not those of the earth.” Hopefully, we are all also demonstrating the same faith as Hector.

He does not have a house after a very strong wind knocked over his home many months ago. Therefore, he has to sleep in a shack in the days, which is located above the house to his niece, and is sleeping in an old car at night. He can’t sleep in the house of his niece because it is very small and has little space for his five other family members. We have a little money that we received from Ralph and Polly Winburn who are friends of mine from the States- thanks so much for your help! We will build a small house for Hector to live and hopefully more in the future if we can obtain more money. I will send more photos after the construction when I have them.

LMC ArequipaWe are very grateful for your support and send the peace and love of Christ to you all.

We will be in contact soon!

Matt, Karissa, Lydia, and Violet Misner

Arequipa: such a great place!

Misner in Peru

Greetings to all from Misner Family in Peru!

Our daughters are adapting very well. Our oldest daughter Lydia will be seven years on May 26. She is studying at the School of the Sacred Hearts where she is learning Spanish, English and French. Our youngest daughter is 4 years old and she is studying in the kindergarten here in the parish of the Good Shepherd. Both love much the fathers and sisters who are working with the Comboni missionaries.

Karissa and I started our medical work a week ago at Villa Ecológica, which is on the outskirts of the city. Karissa specializes in adult and I am a pediatrician. We have a lot of love and respect for the Father Conrado and his passion for making this special place to assist these people without medical care.

Please keep us present in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for the possibility of this missionary service and the people of Arequipa.

Matt, Karissa, Lydia, y Violet Misner. CLM Family from the NAP in Peru